The McKesson-Celesio-Rite Aid drug-buying deal continues a shifting trend in how drug wholesalers interact with retail pharmacies, as wholesalers take over generic-drug distribution, industry expert Adam Fein writes. Implications include changes in federal upper limits, generic-drug purchasing and downstream speculative buying, Fein writes.
Expansion is top of mind for AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, the three companies that control over 80% of U.S. drug distribution to pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals. McKesson and AmerisourceBergen have looked to Europe, while Cardinal Health is increasing sales in China.
McKesson's bid for Germany-based Celesio doesn't mean the company will seek to buy U.S. pharmacy companies, McKesson CEO John Hammergren said. "We do not anticipate merging with a larger retailer and don't believe that would be in our best interest or the retailer's best interest," he said.
Shareholders of PSS World Medical have voted to approve a merger with McKesson. Gary Corless, PSS World Medical's president and CEO, will serve as McKesson's chief operating officer after the deal closes.